Fines of up to 1 million 95 thousand pesos to whoever sows transgenic soy. Investigate and sanction those who plant transgenics in the Yucatan Peninsula, demand the communities and NGOs.
The Yucatan Peninsula celebrates 6 years of opposition to GMOs. The Mayan communities and non-governmental organizations took the case to the highest legal authority in the country, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), which in November 2015 decided to leave the commercial permit for the planting of transgenic soy granted to Monsanto Comercial unsubsidized. SA de C.V., pending the conclusion of the consultation with Mayan peoples.
After continuing to insist on the irregularities observed in Campeche and innumerable complaints from the Mayan communities and non-governmental organizations, on September 17, 2017, the National Service for Agri-food Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) decided to revoke said permit, arguing that this The company has made an "unreliable handling" of the authorized technology since "there is no certainty of the effectiveness of the seed inventory controls." It also establishes that the release of genetically modified organisms in sites not authorized in the permit and the loss of control of the genetically modified material is "serious or irreversible damage" attributable to that transnational company.
The law itself indicates that the violation of said judicial orders, implies crimes of a federal nature that would merit investigation or sanction. The Attorney General's Office (PGR) through its twitter account issued the circular “Introducing, extracting, trading, transporting, storing or releasing transgenic organisms in contravention of the regulations is a #FederalDelito. It is punished with up to 9 years in prison ”.
In this context, both the Mayan communities, such as Greenpeace México and Indignación A.C. They filed both administrative and criminal complaints, demanding that the PGR investigate the illegal distribution of seeds, planting and commercialization of transgenic soybean varieties in Campeche, particularly in the municipalities of Campeche and Hopelchén, where there is no express authorization, which contravenes the GMO Biosafety Law (article 119 sections I and XXVII) and the Federal Criminal Code (article 420 TER).
María Colín, a lawyer for Greenpeace Mexico, pointed out that in the latest BIO (IN) SECURITY IN MEXICO report presented by this organization, various non-exclusive scenarios are proposed, which could explain the presence of GM soybean seeds or plants for the 2017 agricultural cycle They are: a) planting of GM soybean seeds by farmers who may have saved them from the past agricultural cycle; b) distribution of conventional soybean seeds with adventitious presence of GM soybeans by seed houses; c) commercialization of GM soybeans for human consumption or industrial use as occurred for the 2016 harvest; d) Insufficiency or inadequacy of the biosecurity measures implemented to prevent the propagation of GM soybean plants by various diffusion mechanisms (commercialization, storage, mobilization, voluntary plants or the simple exchange of seeds between farmers).
For the 2017 agricultural cycle, both the Mayan communities and the NGOs once again filed a citizen complaint with Senasica, in November of that year, given the presumption of the presence of illegal transgenic soy in an approximate proportion of 23,000 ha in the state of Campeche. He added that in light of the complaints filed in PROFEPA, SENASICA and PGR between June and August 2016, the agricultural authority made the decision to impose fines on 9 people in the municipalities of Hopelchén and Campeche with amounts amounting to 1 million 95 thousand pesos per person . María Colin said that a panorama of impunity prevails that has been repeated at least in the last two years.
For his part, lawyer Jorge Fernández Mendiburu recalled that two inquiries are still open before the PGR for the illegal planting of genetically modified soy that occurred since 2015, on which said institution already has probative material that proves not only the illegal planting but also the violation of a judicial mandate, in this case, of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. In this regard, “it is necessary to insist that although the denounced events are limited to the illegal planting that occurred in 2016, this information can be expanded to also investigate the illegal planting that occurred in 2017, of which SENASICA already has knowledge. Said investigation, says the lawyer, has to contemplate the entire production, distribution and planting chain, which implies investigating the responsibilities not only of those who have planted, but also of the company and the distribution warehouses ”.
Nayeli Ramírez, a lawyer for the Colectivo Maya de los Chenes, accused “the biosecurity system is not working; Even when there are no permits, the agricultural cycle of 2017 registered more than 23 thousand hectares planted, harvested and commercialized and nothing is being done to monitor, nothing is being done to punish those who sowed ”.
While illegalities are denounced and verified, the communities continue to fight through a work agenda for the application of productive practices that are friendly to the environment, and continue in their effort to educate federal authorities and transnational companies on the sense of their right. to be consulted, their autonomy as indigenous peoples and the rights to their ancestral territory. In recent meetings of Mayan leaders from the different regions of the peninsula, they gave testimony that they will continue to be united in this effort to protect the resources of their children and the Mayan culture in the state. In this way, Mayan communities are calling on civil society to join the #UnidosPorLaSelvaMaya movement. Photo league: here
Collective of Mayan Communities of Chenes / Union of Scientists Committed to Society / Mexican Center for Environmental Law A.C. / Indignation, Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, A.C. / Greenpeace Mexico / MA GMO Collective /
For more information and interviews contact Jorge Fernández at [email protected]com